There is a certain clarity of mind, unique and true. I find it hits me when I am on the open road, or when the sun and wind tussle my hair and fill my soul. I last felt it on the bed of a dry lake high in the Andes. In the distance thunder boomed and dropped snow high in the pass. Below the wind whipped and the Austral summer sun shone bright on those of us below. The clay colored cliffs and sparse vegetation showed the rain shadow that covered this area. The thunder that boomed in the distance would be only one of three times this year that such a sound would echo down these valleys. 

The lake bed was dry, the spring melt had been less than usual and a large section of the azure waters remained in the distance, here it only cut channels in the hard mud on its way to reflect the clouds in mirror finish beyond. 

At the end of the mud, where it tapered into the water in brown edies, I stood and took a deep breath. The wind whipped the dirt and sand, and my hair flowed in the air currents. My skin was alive and my heart soared above in the turquoise fermerment with the enormous sun and the first waves of puffy clouds that would bring the rain to the thirsty plants. 

In that moment I felt a clarity of thought I sorely lack in the world of man- or at least in my present location. I get it standing in the door of a moving train, which BsAs does have, though I don’t get it here as much, the trains aren’t as safe and my guard is up too high. In the rice paddies of central Myanmar on the line between Yangon and Bagan I felt it. The train rattled and the hot wind licked my face with smokey humidity. As the farms gave way to palms and sand near the fields of temples I could feel that sweet clear mind. 

In those moments I feel life, I feel alive, I feel part of the great chain of being that unites all members of my species, all species, all life on this wonderful spaceship we share as a ride through the cosmos. I do not despair at the conditions some of my brothers and sisters face, nor at the might of evil, nor the banality of cruelty or the damage of ignorance. I accept these facts and feel that though the path is long, the task difficult, it is an opportunity to become great through its defeat. I feel my feet upon the road of a journey, one that has defined life since it formed in the primordial ooze and upon which it will continue long after I have passed from this form. I feel surefooted, which I have never been otherwise. I feel that I can walk this journey. That feeling, that high, is the dragon I chase, that feeling. No drug can, or at least has reproduced it- though even if one could I don’t think I’d try and replace the real thing. 

This is the moment I wish to make into my life. It is this clarity I seek.

You might also enjoy: